BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:00 P.M.) – On Monday, Reuters announced that the forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) destroyed an airport under the control of the Ethiopian army.
Reuters quoted the Ethiopian media as stating that the rebel forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front destroyed an airport in the city of Axum, after federal forces gave them 72 hours to surrender.
The front’s leader, Debretsion Gebremichael, told Reuters that the deadline was a cover in order to allow the government forces to regroup after the defeats suffered on three fronts.
There was no immediate response from the two sides to the comments of the other side.
On Sunday, the Ethiopian forces announced that they are 97 kilometers from the capital of Tigray. It said it had taken control of the town of Idaga Hamos, 97 km from Mek’ele, capital of the rebel-held Tigray region.
On Sunday, the Ethiopian army announced its intention to use tanks to surround the city of Mek’ele, warning civilians that it might also use artillery shells on the city.
“The next stages are the decisive part of the operation, which is to surround Mek’ele with tanks, end the battle in mountainous areas and advance to the fields,” the military spokesman Colonel Dejin Tsegay said.
About two weeks ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war on the TPLF after he said that it had attacked an army camp and tried to steal its equipment.